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Flex Release Notes

Flex 4 SDK Release Notes (Updated for Flex 4.1 SDK)

This document contains release notes and installation instructions for Adobe® Flex® 4 SDK.

About Flex 4 SDK (Updated for Flex 4.1 SDK)

Flex 4 SDK includes the Flex framework (also known as the Flex class library), Flex command-line compilers, the Flex debugger, the ASDoc utility, and the debugger version of Flash Player and AIR runtimes. Use the Flex 4 SDK to develop, compile, and deploy Flex applications that connect to XML and SOAP web services or connect to various server technologies such as PHP, ColdFusion, Java, and .NET using a server technology such as BlazeDS. Flex applications can be built and configured to target browsers via the Flash Player runtime or desktops via the AIR runtime.

What's New in Flex 4 (Updated for Flex 4.1 SDK)

This section lists some of the major new features and changes for Flex 4 SDK. See the What’s New in Flex 4 article for more information on new features

  • A new and powerful component skinning architecture, known as “Spark”. To learn more about the Spark skinning architecture, see the Introducing Skinning in Flex 4 article.
  • A set of components that use the Spark architecture that can be mixed and matched with the MX components that are available in Flex 3. To learn more about the Spark architecture and components, see the Brief Overview of the Spark Architecture & Component Set article.
  • A new feature that supports mirroring layout and text such that re-purposing Flex user interfaces designed for left-to-right locales for deployment in right-to-left locales is trivial.
  • Support for declarative, dynamic MXML graphics, as well as for static, optimized FXG graphics.
  • A new default look (the "Spark" theme) for MX and Spark components which support a new set of styles.
  • More powerful layout capabilities, including support for MXML graphic elements, improved support for rotation and other transforms, support for assignable custom layouts, and enhanced z-order management capability. To learn more about layouts in Flex 4, see the Spark Layouts with Flex 4 article.
  • Numerous new and/or improved effects, including support for animating MXML graphic elements, support for animating arbitrary types via custom interpolators, a more flexible easing API, and more automatic behaviors. To learn more about effects in Flex 4, see the Effects in Adobe Flex pair of articles.
  • 3D effect support.
  • Animation of Flash filters, including Pixel Bender shaders.
  • More advanced text support, based on the Flash Text Engine and the Text Layout Framework, as well as support for CFF (Compact Font Format) fonts.
  • Improved compiler performance.
  • New MXML language features, including the MXML 2009 namespace, much improved support for States, and the Declarations, Library, and Definition tags.
  • CSS enhancements, including support for namespaces, descendant selectors, ID selectors, multiple class selectors, and pseudo-selectors for component states.
  • Convenient syntax for two-way databinding.
  • ASDoc improvements including support for Linux platforms, comments defined in mxml files, and creation of DITA XML files that allow for documentation to be displayed as tooltips within FlashBuilder.
  • Improved HTML templates, based on SWFObject.
  • Hosting of SDK runtime shared libraries (RSLs) at adobe.com.
  • Additional locale support for developing localized applications.
  • Support for JAWS 11 – As of version 4, Flex supports the JAWS 11 screen reader.
  • Support for Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.

Installation instructions

The Flex SDK installation is delivered as a ZIP file and contains the Flex framework, Adobe AIR framework, and command-line tools, such as the mxmlc command-line utility, Adobe AIR command-line utility, the ASDoc utility, the Flex command-line debugger, and the debugger version of Flash Player.

Uninstall Current Flash Player

You should use Flex SDK with the latest version of the debug Flash Player 10. Prior to installing the Flex SDK, you should uninstall your current Flash Player.

Windows–Plugin-based browsers
Run the appropriate uninstaller available from this Tech Note.

Macintosh
Run the appropriate uninstaller available from this Tech Note.

Linux
Manual removal (for users who installed the plug-in via Install script):

  • Delete the libflashplayer.so binary and the flashplayer.xpt file in directory /home/<user>/.mozilla/plugins/

RPM removal:

  1. As root, enter the following command:

    # rpm -e flash-plugin
  2. Click Enter and follow the prompts.

Install the Flex SDK

  1. 1. Download Flex SDK ZIP file from the Adobe website or the Adobe Open Source site.

  2. Create a directory to contain Flex SDK

  3. Extract the Flex SDK ZIP file to this directory. The Flex SDK contains the following directories:

    • /ant — Contains Flex Ant Tasks.
    • /asdoc — Contains helper files for the ASDoc tool that creates HTML documentation from your MXML and ActionScript source code.
    • /bin — Contains the mxmlc, compc, asdoc, and fdb utilities. The bin directory also contains the jvm.config file, which specifies Java settings that you can modify, if necessary.
    • /frameworks — Contains compiled framework classes, configuration files, and framework source code.
    • /lib — Contains JAR files used by the utilities.
    • /runtimes — Contains installers for the Adobe AIR runtime inside the air directory and installers for debug versions of Flash Player 9 inside the player directory.
    • /samples — Contains sample applications.
    • /templates — Contains HTML templates for Flash Player detection and browser integration and inside the air folder, a sample Adobe AIR application.xml file.
  4. Ensure that the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed on the computer and that the java_home/bin directory is defined in the system path. JRE 1.5,or 1.6 is required.

  5. Install the appropriate debug Flash Player from the install_root/runtimes/player/platform directory.

  6. (Optional) When the Flash Player installation finishes, restart your computer to ensure that the updated Flash Player browser plug-in is enabled.

Compatibility issues

Backwards compatibility compiler argument – There are a number of Flex SDK backwards compatibility changes in Flex 4. You can return the behavior to Flex 3 by using the compiler argument: -compatibility-version.

To get the full list of issues, please refer to the Flex 4 Backwards Compatibility document. You may also learn more about the differences between Flex 3 and Flex 4 in this article.

Using the Data Visualization components with Flex SDK 4 (Updated for Flex 4.1 SDK)

As of Flex 4, automated testing support is part of the SDK distribution.

Using Automated Testing with Flex SDK 4 (Updated for Flex 4.1 SDK)

As of Flex 4, automated testing support is part of the SDK distribution.

Known issues

This section contains selected known issues. For a complete list of Flex issues and their status, see the public bugbase. The public bugbase lets you search for known issues, comment on them, and add new bugs.

Tip: Use Filters to customize your search.

  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-26366 - Project that consume large number of swcs or use different player swcs(playerglobal.swc/airglobal.swc) leak memory due to path resolvers not being cleaned up properly. Such project may require Flash Builder restart after some recompile.

    To resolve the issue, replace the mxmlc.jar and flex-compiler-oem.jar in the Flex 4 SDK with the jar files attached to this bug.

    For Flash Builder these files should go under:
    <Flash Builder install folder>/sdks/4.0.0/lib folder.

  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-17285 - Focus does not work correctly for components that draw off-screen in Internet Explorer. Button, RadioButton, CheckBox, and Sliders draw shadows into the "negative territory." If these components are placed at (0,0), they won't correctly be picked up when tabbing to switch the focus.

    The workaround is to either move the component so it's not at (0,0) anymore and doesn't draw anything off-screen, or to change the component skins and create a custom skins that doesn't draw shadows starting at (-1, -1)."" NOTE: This bug is fixed as of Flash Player 10.1

  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-20140 - item renderer selection gets out of sync when transitions are used. NOTE: This bug is fixed as of Flash Player 10.1
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-20270 - If some visual elements appear in some states and not in others, you may need to add a transparent Rect to cover the entire hit area to prevent an infinite loop of state changes.
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-20880 - Masking a UIComponent is not currently supported
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-20944 - spark.components.VideoPlayer - Removing VideoPlayer While Playing Doesn't Remove Audio
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-23050 - backgroundImage is not supported with Spark skins theme
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-23154 - Avoid setting backgroundColor on a global style selector. This style gets picked up by several components that may cause unintended behavior to avoid this, set the backgroundColor style on specific components instead of on the global style selector.
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-23416 - RTE if TextArea is used in List ItemRenderer. Workaround is to import import flashx.textLayout.elements.TextFlow; and add this to the List typicalItem="{(TextFlow(data[0]).deepCopy())}"
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-23452 - Tooltips cannot display 4-byte characters on Windows. Please see the bug details for a workaround.
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-23911 - Sorting or dragging/dropping of pending or failed items isn't supported.
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-24055 - When Alert is used in a module but not defined in the main app, current moduleFactory should be passed to Alert.show() so Alert can pick up styles correctly.
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-24060 - When module uses Alert but the loading Application does not. A variable of type PopUpManager should be added to the loading Application to avoid Runtime Exception.
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25270 - AddAction/RemoveAction interferes with DisplayObject sharing
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25302 - VideoPlayer unable to load Amazon Cloudfront videos
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25513 - Incremental compiler fails to pick up metadata changes. Work around to do full compile. You can also download a patched .jar from the bug which fixes the problem. (Fixed in Flex SDK 4.1)
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25618 - In Firefox 3.6, Scroll bars show in browser after first click. (Fixed in Flex SDK 4.1)

    Workaround is to add the following to the style section of the HTML template:

    a:focus, object:focus { 
       outline: none; 
       -moz-outline-style: none; 
    } 
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25521 - List doesn't respect its Layout's typicalLayoutElement
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25412 - Spark List isn't updating renderers correctly when specifying custom itemRendererFunction and using virtual layout. Workaround: Reset the itemRendererFunction to the same function after setting the data provider. (Fixed in Flex SDK 4.1)
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25419 - List renderer transitions get stuck when allowMultipleSelection is true
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25358 - Elements with a 3D rotation inside a Scroller are affected by the scrollbars of sibling elements. (Fixed in Flex SDK 4.1)
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25480 - Rotate3D can cause elements to not be clickable when they have a non-zero z value. (Fixed with Flash Player 10.1)
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25231 - Spark MXDataGridItemRenderer leaks content outside of its bounds. (Fixed with Flash Player 10.1)
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25773 - The ant script to build themes requires a compc.jvm.args parameter. Workaround: Pass in compc.jvm.args:

    ant -Dcompc.jvm.args=-Xmx512m
  • http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-25781 - Using FTETextfield for an AIR application causes a runtime error when you open a Window with MX components. To work around this issue, you will need to use embedded fonts for this application and add the following to a Style block in your application:

    <fx:Style>
            @namespace mxair "mx.core.windowClasses.*";              
           mxair|StatusBar
           {
                textFieldClass: ClassReference("mx.core.UIFTETextField");
           }
           
           mxair|TitleBar
           {
                textFieldClass: ClassReference("mx.core.UIFTETextField");
           }
    </fx:Style>

    (Fixed in Flex SDK 4.1)

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